Candidates were asked:
Committee: On which committee of the City Council would you wish to serve during the next council session and what specific legislation would you introduce?
Ward services: Are city services in your ward adequate? If so, what additional services do you think the city should offer its residents? If you believe services are inadequate, which are most in need of improvement and what would you do to make them better?
Projects: Are there any specific projects or programs you would undertake as a member of the City Council which would show clearly identifiable changes in your ward by the end of the next council term?
Sonny Better, 41, of 1722 Massachusetts Ave. SE, is an independent.
Committee: I will select the following committees as the starting place for introducing needed legislative reform:
Government Operations. I will draft legislation to reorganize and streamline all administrative departments and services. This will increase effectiveness while reducing operating cost.
Finance and revenue. Develop operating cost projections and departmental budgets. Then design revenue raising programs consistent with our needs for community service and equitable financing. Provide tax relief for homeowners, the working poor and senior citizens within the framework of a balanced budget.
Employment and Economic Development. Introduce full employment legislation for D.C. as part of an overall, coordinated, citywide economic development program capable of absorbing all unemployed, able-bodied manpower into useful productive work activity.
Housing and Urban Development. We need new approaches that will combine housing and urban development programs into an all-out economic development effort. At present, there is too much overlapping and duplication of functions between the Employment and Economic Development, and the Housing and Urban Development committees. I will seek to eliminate these problems through careful reorganization. I will rewrite the unworkable Rent Control Act of 1977. I will legislate to make every current resident of the city eligible for some form of homeownership.
Ward services: City services are nearly equal to the quality of life enjoyed by most D.C. residents. Theoretically, we offer District residents everything from prenatal care to old age assistance. The bottom line is that we are not doing a good job of delivering these services cheaply, efficiently and to the right people, in the right amounts, at the right time. During the past four years, services have continued to deteriorate.
As a result, our taxes are going up and the quality of life is going down. Problems are everywhere.
Our children are not getting the best education possible. Our jails and courts are overcrowded. Our streets are filled with young and old, able-bodied unemployed. Public housing is in utter decay. Family displacement and eviction from rental units is continuing on the increase. Alcoholism is a growing, citywide cancer. People are afraid to walk the streets at night.
The mayor and City Council are about to get another salary increase, while inflation is eating away at the few benefits for the poor, sick and elderly.
Projects: Corrective legislation must start with understanding the managerial, resource and morale problems confronting the city bureaucracy.
D.C. residents are getting the quality of service we're paying over a billion dollars a year in taxes for.
I earned a master's degree in business administration (management science) from the University of California at Berkeley and have a few years of management and university teaching experience.
I would like the opportunity to put my skills and talents to work for the city, solving its management problems. I have two programs in mind: Operation Cleanup and Project Improvement.
Operation Cleanup will focus on correcting mismanagement and possible corruption in city government. Project Improvement will develop ways to improve delivery of city services.
Charlotte R. Holmes, 51, of 1321 E St. NE, is an Independent. She has been involved in community activities and is a board member of the Metropolitan Council of Governments.
Committee: I would want to represent my community first as a member of the Housing Committee. This is an area that requires immediate attention. The need for adequate housing at affordable prices has reached a critical level. This will become more serious with the displacement of the people in the area required for the Civic Center. Prior to any legislative proposal, my first effort would be to propose a community program to provide a comprehensive survey of the housing needs. This would involve the help of as many available community interest groups as I can get to assist. These groups would help canvass every city block, gathering information relating to housing problems/needs and other related issues from the public. The information would then be consolidated and presented to the Housing Committee in order to develop an effective, substantive proposal to correct the problems of inadequate or nonexistent housing for the elderly, proper living facilities for low-income, and financial assistance for the individuals confronted with the ever-increasing utility costs. These are but a few of the problems; however, the program's success is dependent upon community involvement. As I have mentioned, the information needed to develop a plan of attack can only come from the community. Therefore, by going to the community with the aid of various groups, I hope to obtain the information necessary to develop a proper comprehensive program which may provide the base for remedial legislation.
Ward services: There are a number of governmental services that are badly in need of reorganization/improvements such as street sanitation, more concentrated night crime protection (cabbies), and as previously mentioned, housing. These are very familiar problem areas. But it's time something should be done. Street sanitation and city and related community beautification go hand in hand. Until recently, the emphasis has been directed at upgrading the city's scenic beauty. This effort has been concentrated predominately at major tourist attractions. However, there should be a complete citywide effort towards this goal, not just limited to major tourist areas but the inner city community as well. Crime: Basic protection has been a long time problem area for this city. This revolves around a number of causes-and-effect-type relationships from drugs to unemployment. From a very basic and general emotional standpoint, the need for additional police personnel seems to be essential. Due to the crime rate in the community, additional qualified personnel would be the need here. However, additional policemen are not the only answer. There must be a change in community attitudes toward crime and its root causes. The citizen must help. Housing: I have mentioned a number of housing objectives previously, but another area of effort should be directed toward adequate housing for the elderly. We must provide both care, protection and convenience for the elderly.
Projects: Yes, I have two programs. First community youth programs, and secondly, senior citizens housing/homes for the elderly community. The youth program should be available after school hours to offer support for as many basic needs as possible. It should offer some supplemental assistance to the students' regular school involvement and future career development. The junior and senior high schools' facilities should be used for this purpose and teacher assistance should be on a volunteer basis if at all possible. The student should have available educational and recreational activities with proper supervision. The goal for participation is one college scholarship in each field of participation.This should be instituted in each ward. The impact would be noticeable by auditing the beginning enrollment against the program graduates. Portions of the effort for the elderly as set out in the previous section could be implemented by the next term.
Julie M. Servaites, 37, of 1001 15th St. SE, is a Republican. She has not previous experience in public life, is a housewife and mother of four children.
Committee: The Human Resources Committee, which commands the largest portion of the city budget, is the one which interests me.It is also the committee which touches the majority of lives in the city. Specific legislation would deal with closer scrutiny by the committee of the expenditures and total services provided.
Ward services: The fact is that those in need of services in Ward 6 are not getting the full benefits of such services and in some cases are totally unaware that certain services even exist. The productivity of the city services falls short of its potential. Putting a lid on allocated funds and then utilizing the means at hand will create an expansion of services without overstepping the budget. Additional services are not necessarily needed - just better managed ones already in existence.
Projects: The growth of the ward depends on the participation of residents. The residents, in turn, need to be able to voice their interest on this growth, i.e., through the ANCs. Right now, a deaf ear has been turned to the ANCs by City Council. By opening ears and doors, the original intent for the neighborhood councils can be realized. If there isn't communication between the people and City Council, then nothing positive can come out of the governing body. I would actively seek more involvement by the neighborhood councils and residents of the ward.
Nadine Winter, of 1100 K St. NE, is a Democrat. She is the present council member from Ward 6 and has been active in Democratic Party politics for several years.
Committee: Committee assignment undecided.
As chairperson of the City Council Committee on Housing and Urban Development and the incumbent Ward 6 council member I have introduced the enclosed list of legislation during my first term. Many of these bills are now law. The following are the most needed legislative proposals that I have introduced or intend to develop in the coming year:
The Housing Finance Agency Bill. This measure recently passed the council. It calls for the creation of a housing finance agency to provide low interest mortage loans for low- and moderate-income people. This is the first such public revolving fund available to District residents. The HFA will also allow the District to receive increased Section 8 assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This supplemental payment assistance should greatly assist in providing housing opportunities for large families.
Home Purchase Assistance. I proposed the creation of this program and recommended FY 1980 funding. One million dollars has been approved by the HUD Committee for implementation. The program would provide approximately 120 eligible District families with downpayment assistance.
Unified Codes. To lower the cost of new home construction. I intend to encourage the development of a Metropolitan Housing and Building Code. Currently, surrounding jurisdictions have code standards which vary considerably and result in fluctuating material costs within each area. The complex code standards require builders to vary materials and acts to increase the time needed to receive permit approval. A uniform code would standardize materials and hasten permit issuance.
Commercial Revitalization. High on my list of priorities is expanding commercial revitalization opportunities, especially for small business. I intend to pursue a broad-range shop-steading program and tax incentives to achieve this goal.
Rent Supplement. I initiated a rent supplement program for low-income tenants. The Housing Committee approved authorization for FY 1980 and at this writing the council is considering the committee's action. Upon enactment, 22,000 families stand to benefit from this program.
Ward services: City services in Ward 6 are not adequate. My office has responded to over 4,000 constituent service complaints. The bulk of these calls concern trash pick-up, alley cleaning, abandoned autos, fallen trees and general maintenance of public property. Each weekend, while working in the ward, I inspect problem areas and forward service needs to the Department of Environmental Services.
I also initiated "Ward 6 Clean-Up Days." These occur bi-monthly and with the cooperation of DHCD and DES, large area clean-ups are conducted and alleys are cleared of bulky abandoned items.
Projects: The programs mentioned are ongoing which have and will continue to result in clearly identifiable changes in Ward 6. Further goals for the future are to alleviate chronic unemployment in the ward and to strive to make government accessible and responsive through recommending reforms in administrative procedures.
Anton Wood, 29, of 236 Massachusetts Ave. NE, is a member of the D.C. Statehood Party. He has been twice elected chairman of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6A.
Committee: I would seek membership on the Consumer Affairs and Public Service committee, the Environment and Transportation Committee, or seek the creation of a new committee on public utilities with oversight jurisdiction over Metro, water and sewage rates, the Public Service Commission (Washington Gas Light Co., PEPCO, and C&P), and the Office of People's Counsel.
My legislative proposals would include: A measure which would freeze property taxes for the low-income elderly; a bill to establish an office similar to Montgomery County's Office of PUblic Advocate for Assessments and Taxation to ensure that valuable non-residential properties are not under assessed; a measure requiring repair dealers of electrical and household appliances, bicycles, and jewelry to give written estimates where the final bill will not exceed 20 percent of the estimated costs if the amount is under $300, or 10 percent if the final bill exceeds $300; a provision prohibiting utility companies from charging consumers for construction work in progress; a measure preventing utility companies from charging customers additional charges when they use solar or other conservation devices; a bill to prohibit utility companies from charging consumers for advertising costs; a measure establishing reduced Metro fares during pollution alerts; a provision requiring the Board of Zoning Adjustment to consider enviromental factors in their rulings.
Wards services: City services should not be reduced below the current subsistence level. Additional funds must be allocated to improve streets and roadbeds. Renovations for Ward 6 public libraries are in order. I would work with the Board of Education and the Department of Human Resources to restore health personnel to D.C. public schools.
Projects: The city needs to diversify its economy by attracting nonpolluting manufacturing firms. The energy industry, solar and weatherization products are good examples. The city can use community development funds to construct industrial parks or offer tax abatements to attract these types of firms. This step would reduce unemployment and strengthen the city's tax base.
The establishment of neighborhood bus fleets similar to Maryland's Ride-On system or the Downtowner to service areas abandoned by Metro.This type of system would provide greater access to commercial areas like H Street, Good Hope Road, Eastern Market and to cultural events.
We must provide greater incentives for public usage of Metro. One step in this direction would be the elimination of Metro's present double-decker fare structure, where riders are charged at least two full fares on a continous one-way trip via bus and rail.